My first official job in the auto industry was working as a salesperson in Little Rock, Arkansas at one of the oldest Dodge dealers in the state. My manager was a good guy. He did his best to train us “green peas” on how to sell cars. This usually meant he would just teach us what someone else had told him. A lot of the methods where crude at best and disingenuous and dishonest on many levels when it came to negotiations with customers.
I came across this method a few years back. I taught it to sales associates. We all had similar results:
Better customer satisfaction scores.
Less stressful negotiations with customers.
Increase in per unit profits.
Shorten negotiation process.
So if you need to change any of these things , take a look at what you’re doing. Then ask yourself ” How is that working for me?” Insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different outcome. The method below is simple and can be mastered with a little practice.
After you have your numbers for the customer, in what ever form your dealership prefers . Your proposal should include some basics like sale price, trade in amount, initial investment (cash down) and monthly investment (monthly payment). This process is about isolating objections and minimizing the back and forth between sales guide, client and sales manager.
You are going over the numbers with client. When you are done you look at the client and say” If this looks good, then I just need your OK right here.”
Clients signs. Your done.
If not and clients says” No way! That won’t ever work.”
Don’t panic. Calmly say ” I hear what your telling. Let me just make sure I understand what your telling me. What exactly is it that is keeping us from moving forward? Is it the sale of our vehicle, the initial investment, trade in or the monthly investment.”
Now read these responses carefully. No matter what your client says is the problem this will help you.
“Man your killing me on my trade.” ” Ok so your telling me the trade amount is the only thing keeping us from moving forward?”
“Yes” So if I can get you “a little more for the trade” is the monthly investment amount ok?
” No,I don’t think that will work.” “Which part, getting you more for you trade?”
” No you are going to have to do a lot better.” Ok so if I can get “you a lot more for your trade” is the initial investment amount ok?
“No I just don’t think it is going to work out. You aren’t giving me enough for my trade.” I understand what you are saying. Let me ask ,if I can get you “exactly what you want for your trade’? I just want to make sure that the initial and monthly investments meet your approval.
“Okay. What do you want for your trade? $5000. So if I can get that done we will move forward.”
Just initial here to verify what you want for you trade.
That is it. It is the ” a little, a lot, exactly” negotiation. It will work on every moving part of the deal. Practice it, role play it , do it and let me know how it works.
A couple of notes here:
This was all on my first pencil.
I am more consultative in the sale versus adversarial.
Every time your sales guide gets up to talk to the sales manager, he gives up respect and profitability. (Think about it.)
I know this was like a crash course if you have any questions or want more detail on how to carry this out, just let me know.
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